Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Drought by Pam Bachorz

January 20th, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: January 25, 2011

Publisher: EgmontUSA

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars

Description from Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved.

She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.

So she stays.

But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?

I thought this book was going to be a dystopia but I think it actually takes place in today’s world but the community Ruby lives in is almost like a cult community.  The “slaves” are all followers of Otto, a man whose blood keeps them all alive hundreds of years later and can heal horrific wounds.  He disappeared one day and  his followers are left praying for his return even after they are enslaved by Darwin and used to harvest the water that he believes is what keeps them all alive.  The reason they remind me of a cult is that while there are some members like Ruby who want to fight for their freedom and go look for Otto, most believe them must stay and endure while waiting for him to return. It is hard to believe the horrors these people are willing to endure in order to remain true to their faith that Otto will one day return to free them.

I was surprised by how intriguing this book was when there was not really any character I enjoyed.  Ruby despite the living conditions  was kind of a spoiled brat who did not really think her actions through and was rather self centered in some of her behaviors.  She also sulked like a child when she did not get her way.  At first I dismissed this thinking she was a teenager only to realize that although she was the youngest of the congregation she was 200 years old.

Her mother, Sula, was also difficult to like.  I suppose it was her faith but although she was portrayed as the strong leader who took the beatings for the others the way she treated Ruby was pretty horrific.  You almost have to wonder if she loved Ruby for herself or for her blood, it’s abilities and what she represented.  Her actions at the end of the book made me cringe and I honestly do not blame Ruby for her reaction.

I even found Ford hard to like.  I understand this whole way of life is foreign to him but he did not seem to even have a clue that although life is horrible for Ruby in the congregation this is the only life she has known, these are her family and her friends.  He cannot expect her to throw all that away for him without strong doubts.

Still despite these issues I had with the characters I found the world they lived in morbidly fascinating and the ending did come as a surprise to me.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

2 Responses

  1. Elie

    good review. I just accepted this book for review. The first review I saw was horrible, yours gives me hope. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Michelle

    The reviews on this one are so varied. I started it but then put it aside for something else. I will definitely get back to it because I really enjoyed Candor, but I’m curious to see where I fall on the scale with it.

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